[LAU] Report: Pulse Audio vs Jack on Fedora 11

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Thu Aug 6 04:16:58 EDT 2009


I finally got some time to test out the latest version of Fedora 11 for 
pulse and jack interaction.

I have been wanting to do this for a few weeks as I was told by Lennart 
Pottering that the latest version of pulse-audio has advanced support 
for jack when running with jack2 which has logic for signalling to pulse 
audio that jack is going to start running which makes pulse audio give 
up control of the audio device, wait for jack to start and then 
optionally reconnect to jack. The latter requiring some advanced 
knowledge on connecting pulse audios sinks/sources.

The reason I had to use Fedora 11 and not Fedora 10 is because the 
latest updates to pulse audio cannot be compiled on Fedora 10 due to 
dependencies being out of date. I decided it was easier to update to 
Fedora 11 than compile the entire system myself.

So, I have a working Fedora 11 running nice and stable for several weeks 

My goal is to test out the new logic in jack2 and pulseaudio as a normal 
non technical user would experience things. I know how to make it work 
the hard way but it would be nice for non technical users if someone 
with the knowledge tested at their level and found any bugs that might 
be affecting the user experience.

Pulse is running nicely in the background. I have been using skype for 
the past week to do business calls.

I start jack and jack can't connect to the default audio device. I turn 
off skype. Still can't connect. I kill pulseaudio with pulseaudio - k. 
Still can't connect.  I check gnome-volume-control to see if any apps 
are running that I forgot about. Nothing is running. I turn off 
alsamixer and the gnome volume control applet in case they are hogging 
the device for some unknown reason.

I double check that pulse audio is not running by scanning the output of 
ps. I kill it again as root user just to make sure. Both items come up 
with no mention of pulse audio running.

FYI, the version of jack installed from the default Fedora repos is 
0.116.1. That means it's jack1 not jack2. So no matter what the latest 
hooks for working with pulse audio and jack are not in place on the jack 
side anyway.

But this doesn't matter as I don't have any audio processes running but 
jackd still can't get access to the default device.

My experience leaves a lot to be desired considering that Fedora 11 is 
the latest and greatest version with advanced system config from Lennart 
himself and I still can't do something as simple as start jackd.

I'm not pointing any fingers. But I would like to get to the bottom of 
this usability issue we currently have between pulse audio and jack.



Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd

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